With the surge over and US troop levels drawing down, a large number of forward operating bases and remote outposts are no longer going to be in use, and the US is feverishly dismantling every last trace of them, even emptying the dirt-filled barricades before removing the containers.
That’s not sitting well with Afghan officials, who say that a lot of the bases could either be used by Afghan forces or simply converted into schools or other things the Afghan government can’t afford to build.
Paktika Governor Mohibullah Samim has led to call for the US to simply turn over bases they no longer want instead of going to the trouble of demolishing them, and likewise has suggested that instead of shipping things they don’t want back home they should give them to the government.
US officials have rejected those calls, however, saying that Afghans would never know what to do with a lot of the leftovers, and that the Taliban is liable to take over any bases that aren’t demolished. Still, the cost and difficulty of destroying literally everything and shipping it back to the West could take years in and of itself, prolonging the occupation.
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